Knowledge + experience = skill
It is only through experience that we further our knowledge.
Knowledge and experience are stepping stones that build upon each other.
One problem that survivalist face, is the lack of hands on experience. You may “think” you know how to do something, but until you actually do it, you do not know if your theory works.
Some people learn the theories of survivalism, but never take the time to test those theories. How do you test your theories? With experience. How do you get experience? Buy doing something.
Through knowledge we develop a theory of how we can survive a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation. How do we know the theory is going to work? By testing the theory.
Related Article – 3 day camping trip on the Angelina River
Hunting after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI theory
Over the past 20 years I have heard the same story probably 1,000 or more times – “if SHTF, I am going to bug out to the wilderness and live off the land”. Then the person starts talking about hunting small game, how they have X number of 22 long rifle, and how they should be able to get X number of squirrels or rabbits with X number of rounds. After you hear the same story hundreds of times, it gets rather repetitive.
The first questions I have, how often does the person go hunting? How often do they load up their gear and head out to the wilderness for 3 or 4 days to test their plans? Has the person ever skinned a squirrel or rabbit, much less cooked and ate one?
Then there is the big question, where are you going to hunt at? Do you have access to land? Do you have access to remote land, or private property so other people will not intrude?
Related article – Where would you hunt after TEOTWAWKI
Going to your hunting lease may not be an issue right now. How many tanks of gas does it take to get to your hunting lease and back home? Maybe your bug out location is your deer camp? Will there be other people at your deer camp? If so, how many people? Have you talked with those people about your plans? Have they talked to you about their plans?
Do you have a climbing stand, or a ground blind for deer hunting? If so, do you use them very often?
Gardening / farming theory
I hear the same theory over and over, “if SHTF I am going to get me some chickens and goats”. Where is the person supposed to get the chickens or goats from? What about stuff like fence, a chicken coop to keep your chickens safe at night? Where are you going to get the material to build your chickens or goats a safe enclosure to protect them from predators? What about water and feed for the chicks or chickens? Does the person have enough land to support free range goats or chickens?
After my chicken coop project, I have rethought a lot of my farming plans. I learned a lot from building my chicken coop. That “learning” is the difference between theory and experience.
Chicken coop project 2 month update.
One of the things I learned from my chicken coop experience, maybe I should stockpile wire, hammers, nails and fence staples at the bug out location. If the world goes to hell in a handbag, where am I supposed to find wire to build a chicken pen? Worse comes to worse, I could use young pine trees and young sweet gum trees as fence post. 4 – 50 foot spools 4 foot tall galvanized wire should be enough to build a nice secure chicken pen.
Crap hits the fan, I would load the chicken coop on a trailer, haul it to the camp and build a chicken pen around the coop.
If you have a remote camp stocked with food, supplies, beds, blankets,,, why not have something to get your farm and garden kick started?
Scavenging after SHTF
Another theory I hear quit often, “I will just scavenge from the dead”.
Maybe in a complete collapse of society, like that happened during The Great Mortality of 1348 – 1350, scavenging might be an option.
How often does society collapse? Lets see, there was the Dark Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire, there was the Black Death of 1448 – 1350,,, and that is all I can think of. During the Spanish flu of 1918 the fabric of society held together.
Do you think you will be the only one scavenging?
If your only long term survival plan is based off scavenging, then you are setting yourself up for failure.
There was a guy I used to know whos whole SHTF survival plan included nothing more then looting. Looting? Really? What about short term disasters, such as hurricanes or civil unrest? So let me guess, the guy planned on looting during civil unrest? I hope his plans included not getting shot.
Looting and scavenging after SHTF are theories. The goal is to test your theory and learn from the experience. So how do you practice looting?
Let me guess, the people who plan on looting will enter SHTF with no previous knowledge or experience? Well, unless maybe they are a criminal to start with?
Planning is not enough
It is not enough just to make plans. Those plans, those theories, have to be tested, analyzed, and tuned to refine the results.
The simplistic approach would be to adopt survivalism as a way of life.
During the holidays my family and I will head to the camp to spend a couple of days. During this time that I take notes on various observations. How well do we cook for a group of people? How much do we eat, how often do we eat, how well does everyone get along, do we work together as a team?
Its the little attention to details that are important. What kind of emergency radio do you have? How well does it work at the Bug Out Location? How about the sleeping arrangements? Does everyone have a comfortable and safe place to sleep?
If you want to make sure your plans are viable after SHTF, test your plans before SHTF.